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Who Do You Think They Were ?

A hundred and seventy years ago in the North Yorkshire market town of Masham , two small businesses operated next door to each other in the Market Square. Mary Rapper ran a sweet shop, while Mr Thomas Stott worked as a saddler and harness maker.  Both traded in the Market Square in the 1830s, these activities carrying on for the next twenty years. They were Neighbours, but were they Good Friends? We shall never know, but they could not fail to be aware of each other’s existence. May be the Stott’s young son Edward sometimes ran next door to buy sweets from Mary Rapper.
What neither family could know was that they were to become the ancestors of a future Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, who would face each other across the benches of the House of Commons in the twentieth first century. 
The niece of Mary Rapper, another Mary Rapper married Mr Thomas John Johnson, the great- great- great grandfather of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.  Thomas Stott was to be the great-great- grandfather of Jeremy Corbyn. May be these two Toms sometimes shared a convivial pint together in the village pub. It is well known that Boris has Turkish ancestry and the name Johnson did not appear again for three generations, when it was taken up by his dad, Stanley, whose father’s name was Osman Kemal. 
Who’d have thought it? The question “Who Do You Think You Are” takes on a new dimension, with this unlikely pairing. 

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